Thirty-three quarters tracks out to a pretty solid record.
Business intelligence analysts with Metrostudy, sister firm to Pool and Spa News, has recorded that many consecutive quarters of growth for inground-pool construction activity.
The company’s New Pool Index (NPI) for the third quarter of 2018 shows another period of steady growth. The measurement of inground-pool construction does not indicate how many units were produced, but rather compares each quarter’s activity to that of 2005, the industry’s busiest year. It works roughly like a percentage: The industry high point in 2005 is represented by 100; a number above or below 100 indicates the percentage compared to that baseline. So an index of 120 would mean activity exceeded 2005 by 20%, where 80 would mean it was 20% lower. Several data points and indicators factor into the NPI, including permit figures, tax assessor information, home sales and unemployment rates.
The second quarter of 2018 saw an NPI of 49. While some in the industry wish for a number closer to the 2005 high point, this activity represents a nearly 9% increase over Q2 2017, and is 2.1% higher than the previous quarter.
Metrostudy expects an average annual growth rate of 8.6% for this year, with growth slowing in 2019 to approximately 3.5%. While the growth rate is expected to decrease, new-pool construction is expected to remain on an up curve.
Metrostudy Chief Economist Mark Boud credited Q2’s growth to pent-up demand from a cold winter, along with a strong economy and increased home construction. “With the U.S. economy enjoying a historic expansion, pool builders are extremely busy, while new builders are entering the business, and those who bailed during the downturn are returning.”